Stephen Watt

Samhain

In pumpkin shades of streetlight
the vampires, the witches,
the double-stitched cloaks of aspiring wizards
swish through willowy, puddled alleys,
round the draughty tenement doors
and their gloomily-lit hallways.

Sacks of sugar-coated lollies
promise twilight turmoil, late-night frenzies
wrestling with demons and sibling rivalries.
Tangerine skins and monkey nut shells
will cling to shabby carpets
like departed souls that refuse to be expelled.

When the town sleeps, a pylon on the hill crumbles
like the burnt wick of a birthday candle.
The damp soil underfoot moulders and rots
until skinless fingers rake the sod,
hauling its entire frame to the surface
and we watch the shaded Mound of the Hostages
as it slowly lurches down towards us.

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